CPS is aimed for Professionals, and i'm sure if they were to find out that you were not a professional, you could lose your status. Being both a professional and a CPS member, i find threads like these kind of sad, but, for those who take advantage and bend the rules for your own gain, karma always comes back around...
What is sad are posts like these as they appear to be judgmental and pompous. What, may I ask are the criteria for being a "professional?" Where is the line drawn? Primary source of income? Your main job? How many gigs you've done? How often someone has paid for an image of yours? The level of ambiguity to this determination is huge to an extent to which I don't believe you have given any thought.
I don't quite understand how anyone is taking advantage or bending the rules. I'm quite certain that if Canon/CPS was overly concerned about making their memberships exclusive only to high level pros, they would do so. I tend to believe based on the way things are set up that they are really only concerned about whether you have spent enough money on their stuff.
I have a career which pays me very well which allows me to have the luxury of owning a lot of gear without having to do photography as a job. I do paid gigs for fun here and there and have plenty of gear which doesn't all necessarily get used on those jobs. Does that make me not a professional? Am I not qualified to get my equipment worked on?
Canon sells products and provides a way for you to get them serviced which also costs money. Who is anyone to tell another photog they shouldn't be allowed to have membership if they are willing to pay the money for both?
I'm pretty sure there is a higher likelihood of running into some bad karma when you are being wrongfully judgmental of others and/or being full of yourself.
I fully agree. And not to start another argument over what "professional" means, but especially in a difficult field like this I look at this question more as driven by results more than anything else. Very few people make a good living as a full time pro photographer I would argue. And even then a lot of the income may not come directly from taking photos these days but from workshops, web services, etc.
It doesn't matter. I personally take on professional gigs every now and then - and by that I mean I get hired or asked because of my results. More often then not I do this for charity. I have a "regular" job and at the moment would likely not be able to make that same kind of money with photography that I make in my day job. That's my choice.
And with that it was also my choice to buy a lot of Canon equipment. This is Canon's business model after all. They make a professional line of camera gear and then a lot of "normal" guys (and some gals) go and buy Canon stuff as well. In return they offer a few discounts on repairs and cleanings to folks who have bought enough. How I make my money to spend on their gear is non of their business. And when talking to them I got the impression that they don't care. They actually want people to sign up. In my case even after
I broke a lens. They want members. It's a marketing tool. They want happy customers who will by more stuff later. It's not some fancy privilege. It's a discount on repairs. And a loaner program to tickle you for the next thing on your list.